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A local network to connect, grow and champion the efforts of diverse organisations in the region to support the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.


Build a
Skilled Network


Facilitate Collaborative, Practical Reef Science 

Grumpy Turtle


Champion Local Voices

Grumpy Turtle

Matt Curnock


Julia Summerling

The Cairns Port Douglas Reef Hub

The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub (the Hub) is an open collaborative network that connects people to share, learn, and pilot new collaborative approaches to care for reefs in the face of climate change.

The outcomes we seek to support are:

  • Strengthen collective capacity to care for local reefs and benefit the community

  • Identify critical gaps in Reef knowledge and practices, and drive solutions that benefit partners and the wider sector

  • Shine a light on local efforts and build partnerships

Hub network includes individuals and organisations that want to learn, share and collaborate to actively care for coral reefs within the region.

Together, we can shape a better future for coral reefs by sharing, learning and collaborating to deliver new scalable and highly impactful projects

Hub Activities

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In December 2023, the Hub, in partnership with Reef Recruits, ran a  practical learning program on how to raise coral larvae for reef restoration with local First Nations Land & Sea Rangers. Importantly, it was an opportunity to connect the to connect Elders and community members with coral spawning and share the collective passion for the Reef’s future.

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Recruitment Tile Study

A collective of local organisations looked at relative coral recruitment both within and among five reefs in the region following mass spawning in late 2023. This project was a resounding success in collaborating to collect meaningful data while building skills to identify new coral recruits. The data and training will hopefully be the start of a long term Hub program to support studies of reef connectivity! 

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Collaborative Monitoring Project

A pilot project between RRAP, Traditional Owners, community partners and tourism operators to test collaborative models to deploy and monitor the best possible coral seeding systems for widespread use on the GBR and understanding visitor perceptions of seeing reef interventions at tourism sites. These systems will underpin strategies for new reef restoration and adaptation deployment, with local communities and industry involved in their implementation.


Capacity Building Workshops

Facilitated practical training that assists reef recovery and reef monitoring more generally based on practitioner needs through workshops including coral ID, coral recruit ID, photo-mosaic techniques and on-water training.

Value of a Network

The Reef is an enormous and highly complex system - with both healthy and degraded areas. Reef health pressures are growing and the window of time we have to shape a better future for reefs and Reef communities calls for a more hands-on approach to caring for the Reef. 

As active Reef protection and rehabilitation efforts increase, so does the need for more collaborative, scalable and highly impactful approaches. 

Together, we can boost positive collective impact from many site-specific, but better linked projects and learnings. Well-designed coral protection and rehabilitation activities are one tool to help reef sites of critical value bridge a gap while urgent efforts to address climate change are underway. 


Matt Curnock

Grumpy Turtle

Grumpy Turtle


Matt Curnock

A Call For Healing

'If there was ever a time for us to come together that time is now.'

The Heart of the Reef—a call for healing developed at a co-design workshop with Traditional Owners and The Great Barrier Reef Foundation in 2021 articulates the deep interconnectedness that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have to Country.

It is an urgent call to action for partners, government and the world to join Traditional Owners in healing the Reef by understanding ‘that healing is about the relationship between Country and its People…one can’t heal without the other’. May we learn from the wisdom they share.

We include the Heart of the Reef statement here to mark our collective respect for Traditional Owners, their voices and their knowledge, past, present and future and a commitment to supporting collaborative approaches to designing and implementing the Hub network. As a network, we aspire to help respond to this call to action by supporting connections between knowledge systems, and by learning together to support holistic management to Reef Country. 

Click on our collaborators to learn about the grassroots efforts in the Cairns Port Douglas region

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We'd also like to thank

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Stay Connected



The Cairns Port Douglas Reef Hub works on Kuku Yalanji, Yirrganydji, Djabugay, Yidinji and Gunggandji land and sea.  We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of the Great Barrier Reef region in which we work and live. We offer our respect to elders past, present and emerging as we work towards a just, equitable and reconciled Australia, and one where we recognise and build our shared knowledge and experiences.

The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government's Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The Hub is coordinated by TropWATER at James Cook University and enabled by the partnership's Community Reef Protection and Traditional Owner Reef Protection components, and the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program with a network of local partners.

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